tv BBC World News America PBS April 10, 2015 3:59pm-4:31pm PDT
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which is why at mufg, we believe financial partnerships should bear the test of time. with time comes change, and what matters in the end is that you are strong enough to support it. we build relationships that build the world. >> and now, "bbc world news." anchor: this is "bbc world news america." i am jane o'brien. the stage is set in panama, with president obama and ralph castro -- raul castro at a key summit. in saudi arabia, guards tried to make sure the violence from yemen does not spill across the border. and swan lake is a classic, but this performance has a new twist. for the first time in a major production two african-americans are in the
starring roles. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. a historic encounter is set to take place on saturday in panama. that is where president obama and roel castro are expected to hold their first substantial in person discussion. after half a century of softy relations between -- frosty relations, this is the latest sign of an ongoing thaw. will grant starts coverage. will: the main protagonists arrived in panama within minutes of each other. president obama bounced energetically off air force one fresh from his trip to jamaica. his cuban counterpart, 83-year-old raul castro is perhaps less fleet of foot, but no less agile politically.
despite the huge political golf, the men are on the verge of history. as with most such regional summits, there have been demonstrations on both sides. in cuba, its oil-rich ally venezuela and the u.s. president are in the same place at the same time. american emotions run high, and in some cases spill over to violence. dissidents are serious that president obama will meet one of the castro brothers after they spent almost 60 years in power. >> this is how the dictatorship considers human rights. in this happens to a u.s. citizen in a public park in the middle of the afternoon, i ask you, does anyone know what is happening to the cuban people on a daily basis when they speak out? will: it is hardly surprising that people who have spent their lives opposing castro feel betrayed by president obama. cuba has done nothing to support being courted by washington
much less being invited to take part in sitdown talks. nevertheless, though they might like to, there is little they can do to do rail this protest particularly with the momentum gathering at this summit. the respective foreign ministers have met already. john kerry holding what were described as long and very productive talks with rodriguez. among the issues they discussed was the question of removing cuba from the blacklist of state-sponsored terrorism. the state department already agrees the communist island no longer belongs on this list. but as president obama took on panama pastime is canal, he has yet to reach that conclusion for himself. we are not there yet, a spokesman said. he will discuss the matter directly with raul castro this weekend. that will be the first time a sitting u.s. president has met a cuban one since dwight eisenhower was in the white house.
will grant, bbc news, panama city. jane: i spoke with our north american editor, who is in panama. what can you tell us about this ground breaking meeting? john: jane, i think with subjects like this, what you normally do is, you get a communique at the end and look for little nuances or shifts in policy. i do not think you need to do it with this one. the fact that barack obama and roll castro are here, and they are going to sit down to dinner, going to appear in a joint photo together with other latin american leaders -- the fact that tomorrow, there will be a meeting of the two of them together -- not a bilateral, but an interaction -- the fact that these things are happening is significant enough in its own right to say, this is quite a moment. jane: you are just coming back
from cuba. what are the expectations that this could bring about meaningful change? john: you just need to be in cuba for an hour to realize the need for investment in all sorts of areas of cuban life. i think most cuban people, the normalization of relationships cannot happen soon enough. they want to see trade opened up with their giant northern neighbor. yes, there are problems in the way. there was a joint statement from castro and obama. a wave of hope came to cuba. i think it is still there today. people talk disparagingly about the triumph of substance over style. actually, this is all about style, in some ways, but it is very substantive at the same time. that is why i think the cubans will be very optimistic about
what is happening here, even if the process of unwinding sanctions may take a bit longer. jane: for more on the discussions underway, i am joined by eric firms worth, vice president of the council of the americas. hot off the plane from panama. just what will it mean for this summit now that cuba is back in the fold? eric: it is huge. clearly, the medium is the message, and the medium is the photograph. there are the nations that have been antagonistic for the past 50 years. the summit is really historic. there is a change of foot in the hemisphere. jane: what actually happens next as relations continue to thought? eric: the most likely immediate step is the removal of cuba off the state sponsors of terrorism.
the state department has made their recommendation to the white house. president obama has indicated a willingness to sign that. this could be as early as tonight or tomorrow. that is going to be an obstacle removed that will then open up a lot of other potential interactions opening embassies in each other's capitals, giving cuba access to global capital through the world bank and some of the other things. it is a real step. jane: things not going so well with venezuela. our u.s. sanctions likely to cause friction at the summit? eric: there are sections against seven individuals, not the people or the government of venezuela. there are seven individuals who have been accused of betraying human rights. perhaps it was not done in the right way. perhaps the announcement was bad timing.
the president of venezuela has seized on that to say the united states continues to oppress us, continues to target us. some of the folks, including president madura, will use this as a way to continue to try to drive that wedge between the united states and latin america. it is a really interesting dynamic. just as the united states begins to liberalize its policy with cuba, some of the rest of the latin leaders are trying to find a way to keep those differences alive. it is interesting. jane: how engaged is the u.s., given the crises in the world? eric: it is obvious, given washington policies in the middle east, asia, ukraine -- this is the way it has been for a long time, and probably will remain for a long time. that does not mean that at a very senior level, things are not happening. we have trade policies. we have investment policies. we talked about cuba. there is a lot going on. it does not necessarily make the newspapers, but there is a lot
going on. jane: thank you for joining us. india has formally protested pakistan over the man accused of masterminding the 2008 mumbai attacks. he is one of seven men still facing trial in connection with the assault in which 160 people died. in a moment, we will hear from delhi, but we start in islamabad. >> this release is the latest development in the legal to and fro between the courts in pakistan and the government, who have been under immense pressure to curb militancy in the country. there have already been three other court orders to get him released. he received they'll back in december when a court said they did not have enough evidence to keep him in jail. at the time, the government was able to dispute that judgment and keep him behind bars under the maintenance of public order act. since then, there have been many
attempts by his lawyers to get him released saying there is not enough legal ground for him to be in prison. it does seem the government has now failed to keep him behind bars. we have heard reports of the special treatment he has received in jail, he or the six men who are with him. the officers have told us they had rooms and access to the internet, mobile phones, a television, even visitors every day. a foreign office has said this is a court decision, and they respect the judicial process. we have yet to hear from the prime minister. but this is a diplomatic embarrassment for pakistan, and likely to put more strain on its relationship with its rival and neighbor, india. >> in its first reaction, india
has described this as a deeply disappointing development, the home minister suggesting this is something that could have an impact on relations with pakistan. india has lodged a protest with the foreign office. no doubt in the days to come, we will see further signs to take this up with pakistani authorities. but this is a very sensitive issue in india, not just for the government, but with ordinary indians. the attacks in 2008 on mumbai sent shock wives arm -- shockwaves around india, and there has been a sense that pakistan did not do enough to bring those who perpetrated those attacks to justice. ever since the government took office a year ago, it made some overtures to pakistan's prime minister. he was invited to the inauguration, and unprecedented step. last month, india's foreign secretary tried to use tensions
and restart peace talks. there will be going pressure on the indian government act tough to present a stronger face to pakistan. it no doubt will have an impact on relations between these countries. jane: today, lawmakers in pakistan voted unanimously to stay out of the saudi led air campaign targeting yemen. washington has accused tehran of supplying the houthis with weapons. kim reports. kim: on patrol with border guards the -- saudi arabia's first line of defense. they are securing the kilometer long frontier with yemen. there is no one guarding the other side. the country is decided grading.
at least in this part, it is still peaceful. >> there is a yemeni market just across. this is right up at the border. kim: these cards are usually on the lookout for smugglers and illegal immigrants but this is war now, and they are keeping a watchful eye on any rebel movement. this sign reads, the country you do not protect is a country you do not deserve to live in. six years ago, the region saw borchardt -- border clashes with houthis just east of here. i asked the kernel if he is proud of his country leading this war. it is an unequivocal yes. no one should be surprised the kingdom is displaying this decisive leadership role with its allies. our country is powerful politically and economically. kim: this border outpost is the
closest you can get to the frontier with yemen. across this is primehouthi territory. the saudi say the rebels are doing iran's bidding, and regional war for iran is right on the kingdoms border. this is a new role for the sunni monarchy but operation decisive storm has not been as decisive as they had hoped. the bombing campaign continues with little game. there is a growing sense there will be no success without ground troops. a key ally, pakistan, has declined to participate, a blow to the coalition. inside yemen, reports of a catastrophic humanitarian situation. at the border crossing, a trickle of traffic. this trader is from an area which has seen very heavy
fighting. he tells us people need food and gas, but he is driving back with an empty truck. he is not licensed to import any food in. further west, a fortified fans and no man's land. an abandoned outpost and a lone tank. there are more army reinforcements inland, but for now, only the border guards are on the move. bbc news, southern saudi arabia. jane: still to come hillary clinton is set to launch her presidential campaign this weekend. with the year and have to go, we look at the long road ahead. it is a result which even the researchers who investigated find surprising. apparently, being overweight cuts the risk of dementia. the findings are at direct odds with current health advice. dementia charities recommend
against smoking, but exercise and a balanced diet. a new analysis showed those who are underweight have the highest risk of developing dementia. our health correspondent has this report. >> exactly how dementia is triggered in the brain remains a mystery. with levels of the disease soaring, they wanted to clarify whether they were linked. they studied the medical records of nearly 2 million british people, with an average age of 55, for up to two decades. they found those who were underweight are at the greatest risk, 39 percent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than people with a healthy bmi. in contrast, overweight people were 18% less likely to get dementia, and the risk fell slightly to 24 percent, to those with obesity. the findings contradict previous
studies, and have been described as interesting and provocative but not the final word. >> dementia is the product of a lifetime of environmental exposures and our genes. in most cases, age is the greatest risk factor. really, the evidence so far suggests that trying to live a healthy lifestyle, trying to be active, a healthy diet, not smoking, 20 keep healthy in other areas is probably the best we can do. >> they insist their study outstrips all others in terms of size and precision. they say there needs to be a rethink of how to identify those at the highest risk of dementia. sophie hutchison, bbc news. jane: the long wait is almost
over for political supporters of hillary clinton. the former u.s. secretary of state will reportedly make it official on sunday that she is seeking the democratic nomination in 2016. she will start with an online video, followed by a series of appearances in strategically important states. ed, seriously, was there any doubt that she would run? ed: this is the worst kept secret not only in the american political world, but frankly probably, in the world. ever since she lost her president obama, it has been widely assumed she would try again. in recent weeks, the activity has picked up amid concerns of democrats across the country that she is perhaps seeding ground to republicans who are expected to have a health debate amongst themselves about the future of the country. they wanted to make sure there was at least one democrat in the race that was trying to avoid. the other indication came about
a week ago, when it was announced she rented office space in brooklyn, the bureau of new york city. legally, she has a two-week window to get things started and she is doing it about eight days after that was signed. jane: she is off and running. what will this do to potential democratic challenges? she is a huge name. lots of money. are they going to be scared off? ed: she may have driven a few more people into the race, people concerned that her support of the iraq war when she was in new york senator is a disqualifying factor. others believe that by putting themselves forth and talking about things like income inequality or the concerns of working class americans -- it might drag her a little bit more to the political left. it could remind her that if she is going to run for the presidency, she has to worry about the base support of her party. jane: she has also got to freshen up her image. what is the campaign going to look like, do you think? ed: an understated affair.
there was criticism in 2008 that she was too presumptuous, that she rode in on a high horse and ailed to deliver. she will start hitting up places like iowa, the great new west -- midwestern farm straight. that and new hampshire are the states that get this started. she is going to have intimate meetings with everyday americans. i do not know how she does that with the world press in tow. she needs to demonstrate that she does not have any presumptions about the inevitability in the race. she understands democrats want to go out and make up for the stumbles, and be a standardbearer. jane: we seem to know everything about her, but are there nasty surprises waiting? ed: she suggested that right
after leaving the white house she and bill clinton were dead broke. they are not broke anymore. it was seen as an affront to a lot of americans who continue to suffer from economic malaise. there is a concern that the country is on the verge of electing a new president that is older than the current president. that is not usually what happens. she is going to have to make a case for why a woman of her age and experience, who has been involved in politics, is going to have new ideas. jane: the ballet "swan lake" is a favorite of audiences around the world, but in the u.s. has never been performed by a major company with african-americans in the lead roles. the washington ballet is making history by breaking the race barrier. i went behind the scenes at the kennedy center to get a closer look.
rehearsals for "fun like," one of ballet's most amending works. -- reversals for "swan lake." the star is the celebrated ballerina misty copeland. >> "swan lake" was not something i ever saw in my future, in terms of dancing the lead. it is so ingrained in the ballet culture that you envision a certain type of person portraying that role. it is incredible to be able to be a brown swan. >> dear candidate, thank you for your application to our ballet academy. unfortunately, you have not been accepted. you lack the right feet, achilles tendon, turnout, torso ranks, and bust. jane: her struggle for acceptance was turned into an
advertisement for a sportswear company. the video went viral and her story has become a best-selling memoir. do you feel you are breaking barriers, or are you still an anomaly? >> i do see a change. and as much criticism as i get for talking about it as much as i do, i think it is forcing people to make changes. it is putting the spotlight on the ballet world in a way that it has never been done before. jane: in the conservative world of classical ballet, it is hard to overestimate her impact. for these budding swans, she has the status of a rock star. >> the first time i met her, i was so excited i did not say anything to her. i was so excited to be in the room, i could not speak.
she paved the way for all the african-american dancers to feel like they could actually start doing ballet with hopes of getting into a professional company. that is why she is a role model for me. jane: her costar is award-winning dancer brooklyn mac. -- mack. he has performed all over the world. brooklyn: i wanted to get to the point where there is not so much disparity, and it is not out of the ordinary to see african-americans on stage. i hope my dancing speaks for itself. that is what any dancer would like, for their work to speak for themselves. jane: copeland and mack might be the first african-americans to lead in "swan lake." they will not be the last. they really are quite amazing. you can find much more on all the days news.
we are at bbc news u.s. thank you for watching. have a great weekend. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation newman's own foundation giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, and mufg. >> it is a global truth. we can do more when we work together. at mufg, our banking relationships span cultures and support every industry across
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